One of my favorite parts of any new venture is coming up with the promotional pieces to go with it. While I am not so good at designing for others (I am sort of a one trick pony), branding for myself is something I really enjoy. The communication process is quick (about the amount of time that it takes to get my brain to tell my fingers what to do) and I know exactly what works for my aesthetic.
With all aspects of my business marketing (and with all my social media channels), I like to keep the overall "feel" pretty much the same. My "brand" is photo heavy (just look at the sidebars and banner of this blog). It's mostly black and white with color coming in through the photos. It's a mix of VERY simple sans-serif fonts and my own handwriting. It's generally capital letters. It's pretty clean. It's big on statements (like "I MAKE STUFF.").
This is my comfort zone. I know what I am doing with these things and over the years I have worked within these parameters enough that I feel like I have found a sweet spot that works for me. There is nothing cutting edge about any of my marketing. This means I am never going win any design awards but because nothing is too trendy, it's ideally not going to look dated.
The challenge whenever I try something new, is to keep the style similar (so when you see it you think, "Ah yes, this looks like Elise!") but also make it different (so when you see it you also think, "Ah yes, this seems exciting!).
My new shop/project needed a few different things to get off the ground. A name, first, obviously. I played around with a few things and did some googling to see what already existed. I love that MAKE29 is short and nods to the number and the "make" concept. I was also glad to see that the #make29 hashtag hadn't really been used. The logo is just text (two fonts next to each other) because (drumroll please...) that's what I know how to do.
For the Internet world I needed to redo my website (this was a LONG time coming) and shop page. The MAKE29 landing page had to pack in a lot of info without making this project seem too complicated so I kept it simple. Black and white. Nothing fancy with the fonts or photos.
The shop page is a gray grid format because I love how a grid looks. As the new editions are released, the gray boxes will turn into product photos and become active links. From the linked page you'll be able to read about the product, see various photos and add to your cart. It's empty now, but I think the look will only improve as product photos are added throughout the year.
I decided to correspond the launch of MAKE29 with the launch of my newsletter and drew from the website feel to design that. Eventually, I will have product photos to highlight in my monthly newsletters, but for now I just stuck with some various images that represent "making" and fit the color scheme.
The video trailer was totally random but something extra I wanted for the launch. I gave myself one day to brainstorm and what I ended up with is totally different than where I started. I "storyboarded" it (sketched out a plan) one night before bed then filmed each letter being made separately (with my iPhone resting on a stool over my table) the next day. I edited it together in iMovie and added the voiceover there. The light was changing while I filmed, I stumbled over a few words and it's probably not going to get an Oscar nod, but it's fun and represents what I do and this project.
My main goal with everything I do is to not over-think it. I have a saying that I repeat whenever I'm stuck on a project ... "Nobody cares about almost." It reminds me to either follow-through and finish or drop it and move on. "Almost" complete = nothing.
Check back later today for a preview of the first product that will go on sale Saturday, 2/22. Look for how I tweaked my business cards, "thank you" cards and packaging stickers in a follow-up post next week. Thank you for letting me share my excitement about this process and project.